Well? When you can check in after overnight and there has been 0-2 new posts or edits I wonder if anyone is really here. Seems like there is just 1-2 new people each WEEK! That seems dead to me.

Is this "experiment" working? Do homebrewers find this format useful?

Down vote me if you don't like this question. At least I'll know if your out there....

Anybody. . . .

  • Downvoted because I think this question is discouraging participation, although I respect the poster and his intention to stir discussion.
    – TinCoyote
    Jun 13, 2010 at 21:00
  • Point well taken. Thanks for being alive on the site and helping to ensure something happened here over the weekend.
    – brewchez
    Jun 14, 2010 at 11:45
  • Hey brewchez, maybe no one is asking questions because your answers are so good. I'm teasing, although I do enjoy your answers and questions. I'm new to the site and have been enjoying looking around and feel very comfortable asking questions seeing guys like you and PJ and Dean on here to help us all out. I like this site and its good because of you guys and of course the "laid back" nature of us homebrewers. Side note, if you get a chance, I'd love to get that Oatmeal Stout recipe from you.
    – dzachareas
    Aug 3, 2010 at 16:16

4 Answers 4


I like the format and hope it takes off. Is the site being advertised at all? I first heard of it when it was linked on reddit.com last year, but I haven't seen mention of it anywhere since then. Then again, I don't pay too close attention to most of the homebrew forums - too much noise to signal for me to read every day. I bet there are still lots and lots of homebrewers out there that have no idea this site exists.

I haven't been posting questions as much lately because I haven't brewed in a little while. I tend to have more questions when I'm actively planning, brewing, fermenting. I brewed four batches in four weeks earlier in the year, but lately I've just been drinking the fruits. I do still read every new question and upvote them if they're good. I answer if I feel I have good insight, but lately the questions have been more specific and about advanced topics that my extract + grains brewing self can't answer.

  • Most of the time I am asking questions just to add content. I usually have an answer in my mind but its nice to see others comments and takes in questions. I started to get tired of answering my own questions though due to inactivity.
    – brewchez
    Jun 9, 2010 at 12:31
  • I was advertising for a little bit, and it was going well. However, that costs money. The next step would be to get everyone posting a flier in LHBS and whatnot, and telling their club members, etc. Jun 9, 2010 at 16:22
  • 2
    @PJ Fliers are fine, but come on this is the digital age... You need to be focused on upping how people get here organically. And that's with proper SEO and linking up the content appropriately! I know its was down played in the past, but SEO matters! How many incoming links are there here? How many links on other pages!!! When people search for whirlpool chiller is this site even on the front page of a google search?
    – brewchez
    Jun 9, 2010 at 18:03
  • 2
    One of the characteristics of any brew-informational site, be it in this format or in a forum is that there are going to be TONS of duplicate questions from newbs, and that tends to drive down participation from the more experienced users. I see it all the time on Homebrewtalk. People simply do not do any research to see if there questions have been answered previously.
    – TinCoyote
    Jun 11, 2010 at 14:59
  • I aggree with the comments above. I think what should be done is to a)tell our club members about it. If we have already done it, we can do it again. b)Fliers aren't really the right advertising for an forum, since we're talking about internet business the advertising should be done through internet. Write about it in homebrew fora, ask for bloggers to put a link of this on their blogs. I agree about the chaotic situation in most homebrewing fora with the same questions being asked again and again. I think the structure here is way more organised and has potential to become even better.
    – Tetragrammaton
    Jun 15, 2010 at 15:14
  • @brewchez for sure. I'm up for any ideas there are. The google adwords campaign was really successful, I just can't afford to front it, ya know? Maybe we should start a new topic on "ways to get the word out" Jun 16, 2010 at 17:54
  • I'd love some exposure on HBT Forums, I just don't have the rep over there to post about it and not get shut down. Jun 16, 2010 at 18:06
  • @PJ Are you actively cruising the blogosphere and asking folks to add brewadvice to their blog roll. Getting those incoming links will continually help your google search scores.
    – brewchez
    Jul 18, 2010 at 11:02

I think the success of Stack Overflow shows that this format can definitely be a conduit to an extremely active and useful community. Part of the problem might be making people aware of the site! I write a homebrewing blog, read tons about brewing and craft beer, frequent several brewing forums, and I just stumbled upon the site the other day! I think as people find it, it will become a useful tool. Also, the questions/answers need to make their way onto Google, which will pull in brewers searching for information.

  • Even SO questions have trouble staying on top in google. How'd you find the site Jim? Did we send you a press release a while ago? I tried to hit up all the examiners. (press release is the second post here: blog.brewadvice.com) Jun 16, 2010 at 17:58
  • I can't remember exactly how I came across it - must've been during a websearch on brewing stuff. I found it a couple of days ago and made a note to come back and really check it out. Glad I did, hopefully I can help keep it growing! I plan to blog about it tonight, and can do an Examiner article as well...
    – Jim Armstrong
    Jun 16, 2010 at 18:11

Just some data, to fuel the discussion. If you want to see any more information, just ask.

Site visits from January 1, 2010 through June 15, 2010. The spike is when we hit stumbleupon Graph of BrewAdvice visits over time

And this is the past month - 5/15-6/15, 2010: Graph of BrewAdvice visits over the past month

In terms of pure visits, we've been pretty stable the past month, with peaks in the beginning of the week and a slow decline until the following Monday. Over the past 6 months, we've had a decent increase. Our average visits per day was around 100 in January, and is closer to 300 today.

The rest of the stats I'll show are for the past 3 months - March 15 to June 15.

Traffic sources overview:

BrewAdvice Traffic Sources

The majority of our visitors, 70% or so, come via search engine, with a very small 11% coming directly to the site.

Top 10 Referring sites:

(go here if it's too small to read)

BrewAdvice Top 10 Referring Sites

In order:

  1. google.com
  2. meta.stackexchange.com
  3. some mail site (live.com)
  4. brewpoll.com
  5. stackexchange.com
  6. stackexchangesites.com
  7. brew-dudes.com
  8. beernews.org
  9. startingabrewery.wordpress.com
  10. homebrewersassociation.com

Top 25 search terms (all engines). Note: there are 9,940 terms used to reach this site in the past 3 months. See it bigger.

BrewAdvice top 25 search terms

In order:

  1. brewadvice
  2. brew advice
  3. 6.6 lbs lme to dme
  4. yeast nutrient
  5. sites:brewadvice.com lager diacetyl
  6. carabohemia
  7. home brewing is secondary fermentation necessary
  8. whirlpool chiller
  9. beer strip
  10. priming sugar
  11. brew in a bag
  12. glass carboy
  13. attentuation (spelled like this)
  14. mash tun design
  15. blow off tube
  16. brewadvice.com
  17. nelson sauvin hops
  18. what is yeast nutrient
  19. bulk hops
  20. primary and secondary fermentation
  21. carabohemian
  22. brass vs stainless steel
  23. difference between primary and secondary fermentation
  24. imperial red ale recipe
  25. shipping beer

Anyway, those are a few stats. If you want to see anything else, let me know.


For a new site you're growing your user base pretty normally and organically. 300 visits/day is decent for a new site-- remember it's still pretty new. It's by far my favorite informational site out there for homebrewing-- I love the format. I've built a lot of forum sites (my day job is owning a web dev firm) and very much prefer the Stack Overflow format to standard threaded forums. It comes with some costs though, which I suspect is your problem.

Bottom line: it takes a long time to build this kind of community online unless you have a bunch of money to advertise with. And you won't make a lot of money at it, most likely. If it gets pretty big you might get some extra ad revenue that pays for your homebrewing habit. So the question is: do you like running this site? If the answer is Yes and it's not costing you money to do it, then I'd say it's a success already.

  • Thanks for the comment Juanote and your awesome participation since you've joined. One thing about this site is that it's about to be absorbed by the stack exchange platform. So, while we do love running it, it's actually going to be run by the community, assuming we pass the entry. More info: area51.stackexchange.com Jul 17, 2010 at 23:22
  • Hey, that's cool. I'm curious to see how that works out.
    – Juanote
    Jul 19, 2010 at 0:59

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